Ultrasonic Cavitation Risks: What Are They?

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Before you go through a procedure, you always want the details. With most fat loss procedures, the most common risk is related to the incision made plus the anesthesia used. 

However, ultrasonic cavitation doesn’t involve any cuts or incisions. Anesthesia is also not required and is not used for the procedure. It’s even commonly performed at home! So does this mean that ultrasonic cavitation is a risk-free procedure? Well, not quite. Ultrasonic cavitation risks still exist although it is relatively safer than other invasive procedures.

In this article, we are going to focus on the ultrasonic cavitation risks. We hope to help you determine if this procedure is really safe for you or if it is worth going through.

As always, be sure to consult your physician or MediaSpa technician for more information, or be sure to closely read the manual if using an at-home device.


Ultrasonic Cavitation Risks

Many people consider ultrasonic cavitation and fat burning to be a risk-free procedure, similar in level to coolsculpting. This is because no incisions are made so the risk for infection is significantly removed. It also doesn’t require anesthesia.

It is a pain-free procedure, as well. Some people don’t even really feel anything throughout the procedure. Some may feel a little warmth but that’s it.

Without the use of anesthesia, the risks of negative reactions due to anesthesia itself are also eliminated. 

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Due to the use of ultrasound technology in controlled energy levels, only the fat is impacted. It safely passes through the skin and doesn’t affect the other organs.

The fat cells aren’t even damaged through this procedure! But the fat content in them is liquified, ready to be expelled.

With high quality and properly made ultrasonic cavitation machine, there isn’t really any significant risk involved. However, there are contraindications and effects that you could feel after the procedure. 

Contraindications For Ultrasonic Cavitation

If you are a healthy adult, you can safely go through the ultrasonic cavitation procedure. However, even if it is considered safe for most people, there are still people who shouldn’t go through them. This will depend on the person’s medical history and current situation. 

Those Who Just Had A Tan

The ultrasonic cavitation procedure won’t need to cut your skin, but the ultrasound energy needs to penetrate it to reach the fat cells.

It is not advisable for those who just tanned outside or went to a tanning bed. When you have a tan, there is a risk for your skin to be more sensitive due to the UV damage it has received due to tanning. It is possible for your skin to react negatively to the procedure because it is already sensitive. Note that spray tans and self tans don’t cause UV damage.

Those With History Of Kidney Or Liver Failure

People who have a medical history of having kidney failure, liver failure, and heart problems shouldn’t go through the procedure, including with an at-home device. The main reason for this is because ultrasonic cavitation puts the lymphatic system and urinary system to work.

With ultrasonic cavitation, the fats are liquified and would be released from the fat cells. It is now the job of the lymphatic system and urinary system to excrete them from the body.

If you have any problems with those excretory systems, then it could be challenging for the body to remove them. With a healthy body, you’d be able to remove all the toxins and fat without any problem.

Those With Heart Problems

Additionally, people with heart problems or those who have a pacemaker aren’t also advised to undergo the procedure. The fats released due to the procedure can increase the triglycerides in the body and it can have a negative effect on those who already have heart problems.

The ultrasound may also affect pacemakers so for safety reasons, it is advised against those who have them.

Those With Fluctuating Hormone Levels

Pregnant or lactating women shouldn’t undergo Ultrasonic Cavitation. Their hormones aren’t stable due to the changes in their body so it is advised to wait after lactation before they go through ultrasonic cavitation. 

Similarly, teens aren’t also advised to go through this procedure as their hormone levels are still fluctuating due to puberty. Their bodies are still maturing so it is best to reserve this procedure at a later time. 

Side Effects Of Ultrasonic Cavitation

Even if many consider ultrasonic cavitation as a low-risk procedure, there are still some side effects that can happen.Such side-effects could include the following:

Short Term Redness

In some cases, patients can experience skin redness due to the treatment procedure. The cause of this is varied and it doesn’t happen often. With this procedure, a gel substance is spread over the area of treatment to help the machine head glide smoothly over the skin.

Some may be irritated by it but most are not. Also, if the skin is already sensitive, it is more likely to produce this reaction. 

Although redness can occur, it is not permanent. The skin usually goes back to normal after about 4-5 hours. There is no need to treat the area with any medication. You just need to give it time.

Mild Bruising

Another skin reaction that could happen would be mild bruising. Even if it doesn’t cause pain or damage to the skin, the ultrasonic energy can still disturb the epidermis. It is possible that the reaction to the disturbance is mild bruising.

Just like redness, this mild bruising is also temporary and typically goes away in a day or two. 

Skin Sensitivity

There is also a possibility for skin sensitivity to be experienced. Patients can feel itchy around the area. There may also be a bit of swelling or little bumps.

However, this is also a temporary side effect. With time, this will go away on its own. 

Extreme Thirst

Some patients also report experiencing extreme thirst while some didn’t. With ultrasonic cavitation, you have to remember to keep yourself hydrated. Water is essential before and after the procedure because it helps the body to remove the toxins and fats released.

The reason why you might feel extremely thirsty is that your body needs water to flush out all the toxins and fat. See our article on Ultrasonic Cavitation Aftercare for details.


Many people like ultrasonic cavitation because it is a safer procedure as compared to other invasive fat loss procedures. Although the risks are significantly less, there are still some contraindications and effects that could happen. Before you go through the procedure, it is best to assess your body and chat with your physician, even if you’re going to use an at-home device.

Good luck!

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).